Attorney James G. Dimeas
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Criminal Trespass

Criminal Trespass Lawyer Defending False Charges for 25 Years

Chicago Criminal Trespass lawyer, James Dimeas, has been successfully handling Criminal Trespass cases throughout Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, and Kane County for 25 years.

Criminal Trespass is a crime in Illinois. It carries a potential jail sentence along with the potential for substantial fines and other monetary penalties. In addition, a conviction for Criminal Trespass would be on your criminal record which could affect your ability to get a job and pass a basic background search. Criminal Trespass is one of those crimes that have a variety of defenses available to it. If you are being charged with Criminal Trespass, it is critical that you hire a lawyer that is experienced handling Criminal Trespass cases and understands the law and the various defenses available.

Effective and Successful Defense of Criminal Trespass Charges by Experienced Lawyer

James Dimeas has extensive experience successfully handling Criminal Trespass cases throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. Mr. Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning local criminal defense attorney who has been handling Criminal Trespass cases throughout all of the criminal courthouses and courtrooms in the Chicago area for decades.  He has a long history of successfully defending clients charged with Criminal Trespass and has developed proven legal defense strategies that have faced the test of time and provided successful results in Criminal Trespass cases.

What is Criminal Trespass?

Criminal Trespass in Illinois can be found at 720 ILCS 5/21-3.  Under Illinois law, there’s several ways you can be charged with Criminal Trespass.  Here’s what the statute defines as Criminal Trespass:

1. When you knowingly enter or remain in a building;
2. When you enter someone else’s land after having received notice from the owner or the occupant that 
entry is forbidden;
3. When you remain on the property after you receive notice that you have to leave;
4. When you lie to someone to get permission to enter or remain on the property;
5. Entering farm land with a motor vehicle after being notified that entry is forbidden.

Notice:  An Essential Element to the Crime of Criminal Trespass

In order to be guilty of a Criminal Trespass, the prosecutor must prove notice. The prosecutor must prove that you were notified that entry to the property is forbidden. There are several ways that you can be considered to be on notice. You could be on notice if you were told that entry is forbidden. You could be guilty of a criminal trespass if you had been given written notice that entry is forbidden. You could be guilty of a criminal trespass if the owner or occupant of the building had posted signs warning that entry is forbidden. The signs have to be clearly posted and exhibited at the entrance and clearly state that entry is forbidden for you to be considered to be on notice.

Typical Criminal Trespass Cases

James Dimeas has successfully handled countless Criminal Trespass cases throughout all of the criminal courthouses throughout Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, and Kane County. He has handled almost every type of Criminal Trespass cases case possible. The typical Criminal Trespass case involves certain common situations. 

A common Criminal Trespass case involves a case in which a property owner has posted signs warning that entry is forbidden. When someone enters the property, and signs have been clearly posted that entry is forbidden, this could result in an arrest and the filing of Criminal Trespass charges. Another example of a criminal trespass case involves a situation in which a customer at a store, restaurant, or a bar is told by an employee, bouncer, or owner, to leave and the customer refuses to leave the property. An example of that would be when a bouncer tells you to leave the bar and you refused to do so. Another example of a criminal trespass case involves a Retail Theft. It is common in a Retail Theft case for a store to hand someone who has been caught Shoplifting a piece of paper with written notice, informing them that they are no longer welcome at the store and cannot come back. Many times, people charged with a Retail Theft are made to sign this document acknowledging that they received notice prior to being taken down to the police station and being charged with Shoplifting. If you are caught entering the store after receiving this notice, you could be arrested and charged with Criminal Trespass.

Defenses to Criminal Trespass

Criminal Trespass attorney, James Dimeas, has been able to use his extensive experience in handling Criminal Trespass cases to develop several unique defense strategies which have been proven to be successful in defending Criminal Trespass charges. Those defenses include:

1. Open to Public - If you reasonably believe that the building was open to the public and you entered the building in good faith believing this, then you cannot be guilty of a Criminal Trespass. This of course does not apply to situations in which you have been given personal notice that you are not allowed to go back onto that property.

2. Residents - You cannot be charged with a Criminal Trespass if you legally live on the property. If you live on the property the owner must take appropriate legal action to have you removed from the property. An example would be if you rent an apartment in a building and you do not pay rent. The owner of the building cannot merely hand you a notice that you cannot be on the property. The owner of the property must file a legal action to have you evicted by a court.

3. Improve an Abandoned Building - If you enter a building that has been abandoned for at least a year and the property taxes have not been paid for at least a year, and you try to clean up or beautify the building, you cannot be guilty of a Criminal Trespass. An example would be if your neighbor abandons their house or their land and you go on the land to clean it up and remove garbage and the neighbor abandoned the building more than a year ago.

4. Emergency Purposes - You cannot be guilty of a Criminal Trespass if there is a danger of damage or destruction, or if you are in imminent danger. An example would be if a building was on fire and you ran into the building to rescue a person. If this happens you will not be guilty of a Criminal Trespass.

What Are the Penalties for Criminal Trespass?

Most Criminal Trespass cases are a Class B misdemeanor. A Class B misdemeanor carries a six-month jail sentence and a fine up to $1,500. If you enter or remain on a farm with a motor vehicle, such as a moped, motorcycle, or other two wheeled vehicle, you may be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor carries a possible prison sentence of up to one year and a fine up to $2,500. In addition to these criminal penalties, you may also be facing a civil penalty for any damages to the property along with the court costs and fees incurred by the owner of the property.

Award-Winning Criminal Trespass Lawyer for Successful Representation

Criminal Trespass attorney, James Dimeas, has been successfully handling Criminal Trespass cases throughout Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, and Kane County, for 25 years. James Dimeas is a nationally-recognized, award-winning, Criminal Trespass lawyer. He has been recognized as a "10 Best Attorney for Client Satisfaction" by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys. The National Trial Lawyers have recognized James Dimeas as a "Top 100 Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer." James Dimeas has been named a "Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago" by expertise and a "Best DUI Attorney." James Dimeas is rated "Superb"by AVVO, the highest rating possible for any lawyer in the United States.

If you are being charged with criminal trespass, you can contact Criminal Trespass lawyer, James Dimeas, anytime for a free and confidential consultation. You can always talk directly to James Dimeas by calling him anytime at 847-807-7405.

Client Reviews
I am so lucky to have stumbled upon this great attorney. I made a really stupid mistake at the worst time. I needed to get a case dismissed within 2 or 3 weeks so I could join the military. I could not leave for Basic Training until the case was dismissed and Jim made some calls and got the case dismissed. What a great guy. I’m so lucky I found him online and called him! Somebody was looking out for me.
★★★★★
Had a DUI and hired a lawyer who lived in my building that I knew for years and trusted. Thought he was my friend. Paid him (more than I should have) and he handled my case for almost a year and totally screwed it up. I fired him and found out that he had given up his law license around the time I hired him. A friend recommended James to me and he took over my case and handled it the way it should have been handled from the beginning. I cannot stress how HIGHLY I recommend James Dimeas. I wish I would have hired him from day one. He answered all my calls and text messages and cleaned up a royal mess that had been created by the previous guy that I thought was a lawyer. I consider James to be a friend and recommend him to all of my friends. What a great lawyer and an even better guy! J.P.
★★★★★
I had been accused of doing something, by my then wife, that I did not do. I was 100% innocent and was at the lowest point in my life. My mother told me to call James Dimeas. Her friend recommended him to her. James fought for me in court and refused to back down, even when the prosecution offered to lower the charges and make me plead guilty. I refused to plead guilty to something I did not do. The case went to trial and James won my case. I was found not guilty because I was NOT GUILTY. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND JAMES DIMEAS! Not only is he a great lawyer, but he is also a great human being. The truth shall set you free! C.D.
★★★★★
James Dimeas is a great lawyer who knows what he is doing and will guide you through every step of the process. He will go above and beyond what he needs to do to help you out. Sometimes I would text him in the evening or the weekend with a question and he would always respond. Really made me feel like he cared about me. When we went to court he tore apart the girl that was making false allegations against me and he won my case. That was one of the greatest day of my life. If you need legal help, the only lawyer should call is James Dimeas. Highly recommended! E.L.
★★★★★